SC.2023.07. Tsou Silk Mandarin
"We have named him in our wisdom silk prince, that he may be gentle to our people despite his vast responsibilities."
Quoted statement from 260AK proclamation of silk.
"That's Tsou court-speak for he can do whatever he wants with those under your protection, and there's nothing you can do about it."
Scruffy ruffian's anarchistic rebuttal
- ... to be headed by the Mandarin, or prince, of Silk.
- Such Mandarinate and Ministry be alloted no less than ten per cent of the yearly budget of the Tsou state, and it be responsible for the protection of culture and expression of said culture and in all cases where a resident is charged for any and all infractions to civic codes, civilities, and infractions, save that of treason, which shall be equally prosecutable by that ministry and that of war, as is appropriate.
"You look apprehensive." Mako, around the kitchen table of their shared suite.asked
"You two attracted the attention of the silk mandarin, that cannot be good."
"He's invited you to the Square of Silk's main building, the Desolation of Lack of Counsel. In formal Dawn Moniqan." She showed the letter she'd just translated at their request.
"Is that bad?"
"Well, you two should be protected by diplomatic immunity..."
"Well, we should also be protected by the fact that we just got here..."
"It wouldn't be the first that that wasn't sufficient defense... But I'm hoping."
"Welcome to the Desolation of Lack of Counsel, I am Igimi, I will guide you, you are expected to see the yûluoùnjāyū." He sped them through the plaza, and through two escalators, to the office of that grandee.
"Welcome, excellency, welcome Sun'ga Aixpee, welcome, Makoqoûdâ."
"I'm not so high that I can neglect your own parentage, milady."
"What was that all about?"
"What do you mean?"
"From what you said, he's one of the most powerful people in your government, and certainly didn't need to be so overpoweringly nice..."
"Disease of an ill conscience, he did execute both my parents, for sedition."
"Similar, but treason, I'd have been executed too, and my aunt. For some reason, he chose the lesser sentence, and let both me and my aunt continue living... I guess he considers us allies now."
"Allies in what?"
"That's what scares me the most, what could have caused him to stick his neck out that far? That hood hides his neck most of all, while letting him project the orange lightning bolts of power when he chooses to scowl at someone..."
"And his remit?"
"Interior minister, on the Eurani model, responsible for good order and government, outside of the courts themselves, but responsible, for instance, for all the bailiffs, wardens, police, coast guard. If one has a badge, one reports to one of his, except for gǖnpü̂, for military police. Also responsible for staffing every civil office on down not claimed by another ministry, so city halls, librarians, but he is known as the smiling man for a different reason."
"It is said he is always smiling, because he knows everyone's secrets."
"He's your spy minister?"
"Yeah, like your Meihomei's secret keeper."
"How do you know about that?" Dentrag was surprised, he'd overheard some officers around a table, and the security warning about keeping it tight had scared the living daylights out of him.
"The same way you did, I know I didn't tell you about it Dentrag."
"Err, I overheard someone drunk mention that the job existed, and speculate on who held it..." That was the official line on what had happened.
"Unlike the both of you, I happen to be cleared for his identity, and that such a person even exists. As a division flag officer, and doubly so as embassy personnel. You two be very careful about that title... I heard no less than the Bameimeito got in hot water over mentioning it." That was a lie, but it was the official lie Amarat himself has invented, as part of the military bureau of morale and propaganda. It was intended to keep the word to a minimum. "At any rate, the man we visited today should not learn of this other man we spoke of, through our actions, or inaction, am I making myself clear?"